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Where the fish are biting this week, April 25 report

Here’s how fishing looks this week in the Northwest Lower Peninsula, Northeast Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula, according to the latest report from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Oscoda: Pier anglers reported good catches of Atlantic salmon and steelhead, with a few lake trout and walleye mixed in. Crankbaits caught the majority of lake trout and walleye, while minnows under a bobber and casting spoons worked well for Atlantic salmon and steelhead. Weather permitting, boat anglers found success when trolling standard-size spoons on lead core in 20 to 50 feet of water. Orange, green, chartreuse and watermelon-colored spoons yielded the best results.

Au Sable River: Fishing remained good below Foote Dam for steelhead. Anglers had success when drifting spawn and beads and casting small spinners. Boat anglers did well drifting spawn and plugs in the deeper holes. Atlantic salmon were reported to have moved into the lower stretches of the river and were caught on spinners and casting spoons. The best colors were reported to be orange and gold, green and gold, and blue and silver throughout the daytime.


Tawas: Boat anglers had decent catches of walleye, with many anglers coming back with their limit. Most boats were launching out of Gateway Park and heading south from there. Anglers also reported that they were seeing the occasional steelhead and lake trout. Pier anglers caught a few steelhead and saw some pike and bass as well. Anglers also reported that the best walleye bite was occurring at night. Those fishing the mouth of the Tawas River were catching and releasing bass.

Au Gres: Boat anglers had hit-or-miss success. Eagle Bay was reported to have been slow. When the weather cooperated, some were able to catch a range of fish, including both pike and perch.

Cheboygan River: Anglers fishing by the dam caught steelhead and suckers when using beads. Both fish were reported to be steadily running upriver as the spawning season continued. Anglers who used yellow and green beads had the best luck catching steelhead.

Rogers City: Anglers casting off the marina wall had success in catching Atlantic salmon. Casting spoons and body baits in brighter colors, oranges, yellows and silvers was reported to work best. The best fishing was reported to be when the stained river water was present. Boat anglers reported catching lake trout, with the best depths being from the shoreline out to 60 feet of water. The occasional Atlantic salmon or steelhead was reported to be in these areas as well. Spoons or dodgers with Spin-n-Glows in greens, oranges, yellow, blue and silver all seemed to work well. The stained water off the Trout River and south around Swan Bay all produced fish.


Ocqueoc River: Anglers focused their efforts on targeting steelhead in the deeper holes with fresh spawn. A few were caught, but many of them had already spawned out. Anglers were fishing up by the lamprey weir as well as the mouth access.

Harrisville: A few Atlantic salmon were caught by anglers inside of the harbor while fishing with minnows and casting spoons. Blue and silver, green and silver, and orange-colored spoons were reported to have caught the majority of fish. Weather permitting, boat anglers found success straight out of the harbor when fishing for steelhead, Atlantic salmon, lake trout and coho salmon. Fishing in 30 to 60 feet of water was found to be the most productive. Lake trout were caught from top to bottom on chartreuse and green-colored spoons, while Atlantic and coho salmon were caught on short lead cores with bright-colored spoons.

Alpena/Thunder Bay River: Good numbers of steelhead and suckers were still reported to be in the Thunder Bay River. Steelhead were caught around the 9th Street Bridge when drifting spawn and beads and casting spinners. As walleye were migrating out of the river, anglers had success jigging with blade baits and plastic jigs. A few walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass were caught on jigs and crankbaits when fishing offshore at the mouth of the river. Boat anglers reported catching walleye when trolling from the mouth of the river to Grass Island in 12 to 20 feet of water. Natural and perch-colored crankbaits caught fish both early and late in the day. A few brown trout were caught while trolling standard-size spoons and crankbaits in the same waters. Lake trout were caught in 30 to 50 feet of water around Thunder Bay Island. Dodgers with Spin-n-Glows and spoons in white, chartreuse and watermelon colors worked well. A few Atlantic salmon were caught while trolling bright-colored spoons close to the surface.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Frankfort: Anglers trolling between the piers reported catching brown trout, pike and walleye on body baits. Pier anglers reported low numbers of steelhead when fishing with spawn.


Manistee: The perch bite was reported to be slow; however, some were caught between the piers by boat anglers, with minnows and wigglers working well. Pier anglers reported very slow catches of perch, northern pike and steelhead. Walleye fishing was hit or miss when casting body baits and swim jigs.

Ludington: A few brown trout were caught while trolling in the harbor with body baits and spoons; however, fishing was reported to be slow at times. Coho salmon were caught from the pier. To the north, both lake trout and coho salmon were caught, and to the south a few Chinook salmon and brown trout were caught.

East and West Grand Traverse Bay: Fishing pressure was low due to incredibly windy and rainy weather. Anglers were reported to be regularly fishing the Boardman River in hopes for a push of spring steelhead, but they have not found much luck.

Petoskey: Steelhead anglers fishing the Bear River found steady success following rain and warm weather. Those fishing near the dam had the best success bottom-bouncing flies and spawn, while those fishing near the mouth continued to drift beads or spawn. Those fishing the break wall found limited success casting spoons or drifting spawn, but the occasional northern pike, brown trout and steelhead was landed.


Charlevoix: Consistent winds and cold temperatures resulted in very low fishing pressure. Those fishing in the channel had very limited success targeting cisco, walleye and lake trout.

Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Anglers reported good perch fishing. Anglers were catching both pre- and post-spawn fish. Those fishing near the narrows with minnows or worms on perch rigs caught perch, with limit catches reported. Smallmouth anglers reported slow fishing but anticipate the fishing to improve soon as water temperatures rise.

Manistique: Anglers continued to contact steelhead in the river. Most anglers were drifting beads or spawn. Anglers reported an abundance of suckers present in the river.

Marquette: Boat anglers fishing the lower harbor had some luck fishing for coho salmon. There were yet to be any fish caught in the upper harbor. Anglers who were floating down the Chocolay River had success catching steelhead and brown trout. The Carp River remained steady for steelhead, and at the mouth whitefish were caught off crawlers. Spawn bags and wax worms were still working well for steelhead in both the Carp and Chocolay rivers, along with champagne or orange beads. Trolling blue and silver spoons as well as fire tiger stripe-patterned Rapalas seemed to be popular for catching coho salmon in the lower harbor. Most fish were caught in 8 to 20 feet of water and closer to shore.

Au Train: The smelt were reported to have started moving up the rivers, with the coho salmon right behind them in the lake. Good numbers of coho salmon and steelhead were reported to have been caught while trolling or casting. Most fish were caught in 8 to 20 feet of water and closer to shore. Blue and silver spoons seemed to do well for coho salmon. Fire tiger or bright orange and gold Rapalas were reported to have worked well for brown trout and steelhead out by the northwest side of the island and close to shore by the river mouths.

Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers caught a few splake and coho salmon while trolling. Anglers targeting lake trout while trolling and jigging found success and were consistently catching fish. Most fish were caught below 100 feet of water while trolling and below 150 feet of water while jigging. Fish were biting on a combination of artificial and natural baits.

South Portage Entry Canal/Big Traverse Bay: Anglers who were targeting lake trout had good fishing when either trolling or jigging. Anglers who were trolling were able to catch lake trout in roughly 100 feet of water, with fish dispersed throughout the water column. Anglers who were jigging found fish close to the bottom in deeper water.

St. Ignace: A few steelhead were caught out of the Carp River; however, anglers reported that another warm rain needs to come through for more fish to run up. There was still no sign of smelt.

Ontonagon River: Fishing pressure on the river was extremely low. High turbidity in the river water remained as a result of high runoff upstream. Reports suggested that few to no fish were being caught.

Ontonagon/Silver City/Union Bay: Fishing efforts from these ports were reported to be low. Reports show that those who made it out caught coho salmon and brown trout in low numbers.

Black River Harbor: Anglers had luck finding coho salmon and brown trout in respectable numbers. Reports suggested that most success came from trolling artificial lures in shallow waters. Shore anglers also reported catches of coho salmon and brown trout, most commonly when using crawlers.

Fishing tip of the week: Cover the basics

Did you know simple mistakes can make or break your fishing adventures? Check out these basic things to avoid if you want to have better success on the water:

  • Make sure your reel is filled with line – don’t wait until it gets to half-empty and risk losing a great catch due to an inadequate amount of line.
  • Check your knots – monitor their strength and durability after each fish. If the strength gets compromised, cut the line down a few feet and start again.
  • Set the hook – don’t forget to do this each time you even think you’ve got a bite. Why waste a great catch just because you forgot to set the hook?

Want more tips for fishing in Michigan? Visit

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